Sunday, January 26, 2014

In the midst of winter

Hello, all, from the frigid land where I live. Normally, our winters are a little more mild here in Maryland, which is technically a southern state. But I have no complaints at all. I own an excellent car that can get up and down the snow-covered 1/3 mile-long driveway, and if you dress properly for the weather, it’s really not a problem. I’m thankful for the power and the oil, and I keep the house at a slight chill. When it’s too cold, I add another sweater and maybe a scarf.

I worked today for a half-day because we held our annual Open House for our school. Saturday, however, was a mixed bag of interesting weather. In the morning, between chores, I took some photos through my kitchen window of the birds at the feeders. It was pretty gray and the images reflect that fact.

(some of you have already seen these on FB)


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I love the bright red of the male cardinals at this time of the year. So beautiful.


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Late morning, I happened to glance out the window to see a wild mass of snow flurries. All-told, we had about two more inches that fell and it looked beautiful on top of the snow that’s already on the ground.

I decided to capture some images during the snowfall, which I have below.


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It’s so much brighter because of all the white in the sky.


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Hello, little lady.


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This one is my favorite.

I keep a chair by the kitchen window and the camera is right there with the long lens on. Sometimes I just sit there and wait. Sometimes I’ll walk by and notice a lot of activity, so I sit down for a bit and wait.


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And then the little tufted titmouse took to the wing. Lucky shot!


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I took this image earlier in the day of a white-throated sparrow who was hanging out at the bottom of the bush that’s right in front of the window. He was there for quite some time, napping and resting. He looks a little sleepy here, doesn’t he? Actually I’m not sure if it’s a he or a she.


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Tonight I’m having leftovers for dinner. Last night, I made Fried Lemon Parmesan Chicken Paillard, a recipe I found on Pinterest, which is one that’s become a regular here at the old manor house on the hill. I made enough for leftovers tonight and as a salad topping for part of the week.

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I served it with roasted butternut squash & carrots, and a salad topped with feta cheese.

I went off sugar about two weeks ago and all my clothes are fitting better. I also cut way back on the bread (although I love me some bread, I really do). I also cut way down on the salt and caffeine and have tried to up the exercise routine which mainly consists of walking. Someone asked me if shivering counted as exercise and I told them to put on a heavier sweater and suck it up. Ha ~

Hope your week is a good one. I really do.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting today ~

123 Signature[5]

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
-Albert Camus


Gayle said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. I so love the cardinals. We do not have them here. I am thrilled when you post them. The tufted titmouse is so darned cuuuuute! Thank you for sharing with us.

RURAL said...

I think that you are the premier bird photographer in blogland Kate...stunning shots.

And I am off to check out that looks delish.


Nancy said...

Such beautiful photographs of such gorgeous birds...Being from NC, I love the Cardinals. They are just spectacular against the snow....

JaneK said...

Maryland is a Southern state???? Really???? I need to brush up on history.....

love the added narrative to the pictures... stay cozy, my friend

Lili said...

I always love your birdie pictures and the snow makes them even more lovely. It's too cold here to walk lately...I must see about cutting the sugar out for a while too. xo

Country Gal said...

Wonderful post and photos ! I agree with you about the winter dressing for it and all is good but this year is the first in many years we have had a good old fashioned Canadian winter and I am done with it now lol ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good week !

becky up the hill said...

I adore your quotes. However I wish your house was warmer. I know it cost $$ to heat. Keep warm best you can.

Country Girl said...

Yep, Maryland is really a southern state.

Blondie's Journal said...

These are absolutely beautiful pictures, Kate. The tufted titmouse ready for flight is breathtaking. And the snowy makes this weather totally worth it. And yes, it's very much the same here. Lots of fires in the fireplace and layers. Warm, hearty meals. Your chicken looks delicious. I roasted a whole one tonight.

Take care and stay warm and dry! :)


The Furry Gnome said...

Glad you're the type to enjoy winter. We really don't have any choice here! Great pictures. I've only seen a titmouse once in my life.

jmac said...

Thanks for your help with making the videos! I couldn't get your email to work either..hmmmmm.. I am FYI. will let you know if I can get it to work.
And serendipity....I also wrote of my precious feathered friends over the weekend..and also pulled my granddaughter's tea table chair up to the window, waiting for them to put on a show for me with my long lens!
Being a gal from the deep south, its hard to think of Maryland as a southern state,,,haha..I would do anything to have your snow for even just one day!!
thanks again !

Devon said...

Your bird photography is beautiful... I think these are some of your best shots!

It is strange how cold 80% of the county is and California has just completed the driest year ever recorded. We have had no rain in almost 2 months... I guess the grass always looks greener....

Low Tide High Style said...

I love these pics, they are gorgeous! And most people don't know that Maryland is below the Mason-Dixon line, and truly a southern state, just ask some of my neighbors...they'll set "y'all" straight! ;)

xo Kat

Anonymous said...

I really love your bird shots! The one in flight is spectacular! I love perfect timing like that. Well we are getting another polar vortex smack down in Chicago tonight! My house is shaking from the wind and it's an all brick home! Crazy stuff. I'm gonna try that chicken..looks delish! Have a wonderful week too. Xo

Cloudia said...

wonderful shots, yes, esp on the wing

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >
=^..^= <3

wayne15575 said...

lovely captures as always. I had heard about a shooting at a Mall in Maryland. My thought went to hoping it was on the other side of the state from where you were.
I was so relieved to see your posting. Have a great week.

Kerri Farley said...

Of course you had me at the birds ....... Beautiful post!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I do so wish we had cardinals here - that red bird against the snowy background makes me so envious.

I wouldn't mind a helping of that chicken and salad too.

Debbie From Illinois said...

Kate, I have a lot of cardinals that visit my feeders and I have in the past always favored the male birds with their opulent red feathers. But your photos of female cardinals have really made me appreciate their beauty too.

Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

Tiggeriffic said...

I saved a black capped chickadee this morning.. Poor thing was just frozen..but I was able to thaw him/her out and now he/she is alive~~!
Love your pictures,,that red cardinal is so bright against the snow..
yes,,,if one is cold ~~put on a sweater, wrap in a warm blanket and make some hot chocolate or coffee or hot cider and set and watch God's nature come to one's window.. ta ta for now from Iowa:)

it's me said...

Bright cardinals a flame of color in the white landscape--I love seeing them.

Your healthful, colorful dinner plate is so inviting.

The Camus quote is perfect.

Daryl said...

gorgeous photos ... yummy looking dinner and yeah for you on cutting out evil sugar and the tempting wonderful bread .. i can live w/o sugar but ignoring bread is harder for me ... so i try not to buy it ... i keep my distance from pasta too if i crave carbs i have a little rice .. in my mind grain is less 'bad'

sharon said...

The Parmesan chicken looked really good. I'm so coming over for dinner next time. :) Love the birds again the gray snowy sky. We are freezing today, 21 degree with a wind chill of bone chillin cold. Brrrrr!!
Stay warm and enjoy the snow.

Rain said...

Kate these pics are beautiful- the birds are so beautiful- even the Mrs!!!good job on the cutting back on the bad goodies!!! I'm weak ......!

Hilary said...

My favorite saying of all...have it on a slate I made 30 years ago.

Cindi said...

I absolutely love love love your photographs. I could just cover my walls with your birds.

Jeanne Walker said...

Love EVERYTHING about this post! Those bird captures are more than amazing! I'm have to get that recipe off of Pinterest for the chicken dish! I'm off of 'whites'...sugar, white potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. Started drinking more caffienated coffee to give my metabolism a boost as well as jalapenos...but not in my coffee! They say that to shiver a little bit burns calories! We are under another winter storm warning in less than a week....rain, ice and probable snow moving toward Houston! Stay warm up there and we'll try to survive the Second Winter Storm of 2014!!!! Hugs!

Lee Owenby said...

Love all your photos - especially the top two.

Stephen Andrew said...

Spectacular photos. I can't imagine the patience it requires to get those shots! Patience in a five second span! Haha I'm frustrated just thinking about it. I'm loving this absurd winter. I just hope it doesn't mean a crazy hot summer.

Lisa Gordon said...

I could absolutely make a meal with just some good bread (and lots of butter, of course!!).

We have not had much snow (by Upstate NY standards, anyway), but this has definitely been the most brutally cold winter that I can remember.

Your feathered friends are really beautiful, Kate.

Have a great day!

Andi said...

I get so jealous of your indoor view of your feeders! because of the elevation of our house/deck etc...there is no place for me to really enjoy them from inside...right now it is too cold to sit out!! I will just enjoy your pictures then instead! Thanks for sharing!

Bluebird49 said...

Aren't those bird's colors especially beautiful against the snow! They all look quite well-fed, wouldn't know anything about that,now would you, Kate? ;)

Em Parkinson said...

I've just been talking about Cardinals on someone else's blog and wishing we had them over here - so beautiful. Wonderful pictures Kate and glad to hear you sounding so well. I've not caught up with you for a few weeks....lots going on, so it's lovely to read you. x

mrs mediocrity said...

I just love your bird photos... And yes, the male cardinals are such a lovely addition to the winter landscape, sometimes the only color out there.

I swear my face almost froze off walking out to get the mail today... But after tomorrow were supposed to head back into the 20s, so I'm sure that will feel like a heat wave!


GailO said...

Sometimes, like when I just read about seeing your photos, I wish I could handle Facebook but each time I try I am simply horrified by the whole thing...It always seems like a jumbled hot mess to me!

CIN&BUD said...

Just Beautiful Birds and Great close-up Photography!

Jan's camera said...

Hi Kate, That meal looks delicious and I am loving those beautiful photos.

The JR said...

Going off sugar alone is not enough....tieing up the hubbies hands so he can't cook would be better for me